Summary: Daily from the media we hear about America driving off the Fiscal Cliff. Trillion Dollar Deficits spiraling out of control * More taxes just approved for tax burdened Californians * More layoffs looming on the horizon * More Murders * More States
Cornerstone Church November 18, 2012
“Giving Thanks Is Normal!”
We live in interesting and difficult days!
Daily from the media we hear about America driving off the Fiscal Cliff.
Trillion Dollar Deficits spiraling out of control
* More taxes just approved for tax burdened Californians
* More layoffs looming on the horizon
* More Murders
* More States approving same sex marriage
* More babies doomed to be aborted
Today some of the smartest people in our society are the dumbest!
“CBS New York reported that Michael Bloomberg, New York City's mayor, has outlawed food donations to homeless shelters in the city because authorities can’t assess their fat, salt and fiber content.”
Really? A hungry person is counting carbs?
Forest Gump is a Genius compared to these individuals!
"Stupid is as stupid? does"
If all of this wasn’t bad enough, Hostess is closing!
Where are we going to get our Twinkies?
No wonder we find it is hard to be thankful!
Is this the “New Normal?”
What happened to Normal?
Just a decade ago all seemed to be humming along!
What happened to the good old days?
When I was little I remember waking up on Thanksgiving morning and watching all of the parades. Then we would load up in the car and drive to my grandparent’s home.
Soon the whole family was gathered together.
It was a place with:
* Lots of Joy!
* Lots of Love!
* Lots of Food!
It seemed (at least in my memories) that neither of my grandparents or parents had a care in the word or any problems. Life was good!
But that wasn’t true….
* My great-grandmother came to the US just before Hitler closed the borders in Poland.
* My grandmother lost her father when she was young
* My grandparents lived through the great depression
* My grandmother battled cancer for many years
* My grandfather worked 10 -12 hours days for .25 cents per hour for what became TRW but feared going to the bathroom thinking he might be one of the people fired that day.
But they were thankful people!
Maybe the “New Normal” is really “normal life!”
Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever.
The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises.
The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course.
All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again.
All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing.
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
Eccl. 1:4-9 NIV
Life is routine and boring!
Most of the New Testament books and epistles are written to saints going through incredible times of great hardship or struggles:
* Persecution from the culture
* Lived under rulers like: Caligula, Claudius and Nero
In those books, however, they were never encouraged to sit around and:
* Give up
* Get even
* Get mad
They (and we today) are told to rejoice and give thanks!
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Phil. 4:4 NASB
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
Psa. 100:4 NASB
WHEN ARE WE TO BE THANKFUL?
“Always giving thanks!”
We must come to understand that God governs and controls all aspects of our lives. He is working on conforming us to the image of His dear Son.
THREE LEVELS OF THANKFULNESS:
1) THANKFUL WHEN WE ARE BLESSED
Here we are thankful, after the fact. Our prayer has been answered and we are grateful. We are happy because life is going our way, new job or relief from some sickness. This is the easiest to manifest.
2) THANKFUL FOR FUTURE BLESSINGS AND VICTORIES
Here we are thankful in anticipation for victories.
Now we are beginning to exercise faith, hope and trust in God.
We do not know the outcome but we thank God in advance for what He will do.
We trust God’s Word, which reveals to us God’s nature and know He is going to work out everything perfectly according to His plan for us.
3) THANKFUL IN THE MIDST OF THE STORM, BATTLE OR TRIAL
Here is where we manifest true praise and trust. In the midst of hardship we glorify the Lord trusting Him to keep us during the storm.
Dan. 6:10 NASB Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he entered his house (now in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem); and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously.